This versatile actor is worth hunting down: we’ll see more of Heath Heine soon. In Jurassic Thunder alone he has three roles (one of which is a certain orange President), and in Monster Force Zero he’s clearly channeling Biff (Back to the Future. Duh. Hello, McFly!) We were honored to have a little chat with him, and he’s a super nice dude who would make a great superhero in real life. (Not just in his movies!) Want to guess at his superpower of choice? Read on…
Hi there Mr. Heine! My name’s Rob Williams and I’m a UK-based writer for the RunPee app/website/blog, which came about to help people enjoy films without worrying about bathroom breaks, meaning they won’t miss out on the best action.
We’ve recently started reviewing independent films and a few of yours — Monster Force Zero and Jurassic Thunder, in particular — came up on our radar, so we’d love to ask you a few questions. So here we go!
According to IMDb you’re quite busy… three films in post-production, three filming, and four in pre-production. What are you most looking forward to and is there anything you’ve got planned that IMDb doesn’t know about?
I love IMDb and I do update it pretty often as a producer/actor. So as soon as I get the go ahead from the powers that be, it’s posted up there.
I’m really looking forward to ROT Squad (pre production) with Milko Davis and Kevon Ward. Reason being, I star as Destin Clutcher in this film, the likes of Beverly Hills Cop, I-Robot and Lethal Weapon. Which might be considered a breakout role for me, you know the kind the puts an actor on the map, Lord willing.
In addition to that I also play Darth Bane in a Star Wars fan film (Dark Reign) that should hit YouTube before 2021.
Which actors have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?
Hands down, Jim Carey — he’s my go-to because he’s a transformer, a chameleon. While I don’t claim to know his process for character development, I can’t help but think I’ve stumbled upon the same technique. I often use mimicry or imitation through humor to develop a character.
Beyond that like the old Smokey Robinson songs “tears of a clown” and “tracks of my tears”– many comedians or impressionists have deep reservoirs to draw from in order to shift from comedic to dramatic effortlessly. I hope I as an actor can be liked to Jim Carey and Robin Williams in versatility and transformation.
You can star in a remake/reboot/reimagining of any film you want. What would you choose and what changes would you make?
That’s a toss up for me. It’d be between Bloodsport (Jean Claude Van Damme) and Dumb & Dumber. I love buddy comedies; (reimagined) we could visit the Great Wall of…. Trump at the Mexican American border, I as Lloyd Christmas could say things like, “Sure is fun whackin this piñata and eat’n Jalapeños with these Far East Asian folk huh, Hare.”
We could really offend a lot of people I’m sure. But I think the answer to our current state of emotion is to laugh with and at the outrageous imagination films like this would bring.
As for a remake of Bloodsport — well, I’d just love to get back to my roots of martial arts and transform physically (with a trainer of course) and showcase my lesser known talent of kicks and stunt fighting. So pretty much I’d like it to be a remake updated for the new generation.
How has the advancement of movie making technology changed your acting/producing?
I believe that the technological advancements of filmmaking has brought upon two things, one a saturated market, and two a great opportunity for creatives to thrive on a dime. But they are in opposition. In this age of affordable movie making, equipment, and talented film makers, I’ve been blessed to meet and work with “broke” film students who became independent/professional film makers (Arielle Brachfeld, Hank Braxtan, Eric Olson and Kevon Ward, to name a few.)
Ingenuity is truly born out of necessity — making films on a shoestring budget seems to form a bond between creatives you just can’t get with large amounts of money; so inexpensive cameras and editing software allow for legit motion picture collaborations from all walks of life.
Are you a ‘follow the script to the letter’ man or more of an ad-libber?
Memorization takes time and rehearsal for most (a little extra of both for me), luxuries that are not always afforded to independent film makers. While ad-lib and improv are not always acceptable on big budget films, they are more than acceptable and encouraged by directors that I work with. It’s kind of a perk for working on ultra low budget films.
Most directors will usually ask for two or three takes as scripted and then give me the freedom for some wild takes, if time allows and it usually does.
Hmmm, now that I think about it maybe if that same time for wild lines was afforded in the beginning (pre production) for rehearsal, then I would be more equipped as an actor when I get on set. Oh well… we usually strike “GOLD” with ad-libbing.
I think that a lot of actors say they want to play Shakespearian parts to make themselves sound more grown up. Am I talking nonsense or do you agree?
Not nonsense, as I have seen and heard of actors that strive for that very thing. I don’t claim to be a thespian and honestly have only taken part in two plays in my entire life. What I found was a lot of work goes into a great performance. I don’t envy that and I applaud the work ethic of theatre performers.
I have yet to be offered or to seek out a film role that is Shakespearian but I know I will rise to the challenge if and when presented, by consuming as much theatre as possible to embody the role.
That might in part help me grow up a little more, by working harder at having fun. A challenge I’m up for if any director out there wants to take the chance on me.
Depending on their age actors always say that they want to play Romeo, Hamlet, Lear… What would be your dream role?
Again, none of those roles have been in my repertoire…yet. And therefore haven’t really considered them before your question. But I do read the King James Bible and often, so if there happens to be a role for me to speak in an old English dialect I think I can perform quite nicely.
My dream role at this point would have to be a martial arts action star (Bloodsport, Perfect Weapon or John Wick). But a close second would be a bad guy, the villain (The Cell, Joker, American Psycho).
At the end of Jurassic Thunder you showed you’ve got the moves. Fancy a turn as a song and dance man?
Thank you for saying so, and yes I do.
I imagine I got my ability to dance from my mother; she was a dancer for several decades. Just don’t ask what kind.
So I owe that to her.
It’s rather easy for my feet to catch the beat and my background in Tae Kwon Do allows for some pretty flashy kicks, handstands, and splits with ease.
That said, it was twice as difficult and three times as hot dancing in that Trump er uh, non-disclosed fat orange President suit. Constructed and applied by Kevon Ward.
The very first film I was ever in was Tiger Street 1998 (a tournament fighter extra). Soon after I began booking a lot of commercials, all thanks to my lovely agent Kathey True of Radical Artist Agency; she’s been with me all this time (24 years in fact) — she’s irreplaceable.
In 2005 I booked the lead in my first ever student film (Indie Film Adventures by Hank Braxtan) — it’s a comedy, and comedy came very natural to me.
After which I had the opportunity to play good guys, bad guys, characters, leads, supporting and extra. It’s been a really great ride and I guess that’s why I’ve circled back to martial arts. I guess it’s kinda like beating a game and starting over with a familiarity that can allow for a better performance the second time around.
You’re sometimes credited as Heath Heine but more usually as Heath C. Heine. Any reason for the variance and what does the ‘C’ stand for?
That’s a simple one: Charles. It’s my grandfather’s first name.
I started using my middle initial when I had an e-card from my father in law go to another Heath Heine in Texas. I contacted him, he was as nice as any Heath, and declined the gift card instead of accepting it and spending the money.
We’re still friends on Facebook for what that’s worth.
What’s the weirdest thing a fan has ever done for you?
One of my “fans” (he’s a friend) contacted me on Facebook from several thousand miles away, with a picture of my movie (Dennis Hefter’s) Army and Coop, being sold for 5 bucks a DVD at a flea market in Indiana.
For his brave efforts to thwart the misbehavior, I rewarded him with an autographed headshot. To date that copy thief has probably made more money than we have on that awesome film. Crime does pay but only until someone tattles.
Do you find it easier to be yourself or play a character?
I’m a pretty open book so, being Heath is really easy. I don’t take my characters to heart or get method with my development of a character. However there was this one time I played a sickly man in a strange short film called WORM and it actually made me sick to my stomach. I vomited at the audition and the day of shooting.
But I do utilize compartmentalizations for my characters, and I can bring them up with a word or phrase, and then have a conversation in that voice or character. Almost schizophrenic in nature, but I have control over it. I think.
You’ve worked on film and TV; any ambitions or experience in other areas… voice, stage, radio, etc.?
I do like singing and rapping. I just don’t pursue that to the same degree as I do for film. But sometimes it has lent itself to the production of a film, and I always make time for a good performance.
I have pondered voiceover work and character voiceover work, but I think I’ll wait till I have clout. Then I’ll get the big bucks for it.
There’s actually one thing I want to do better and I believe I can with practice — do well in an interview. Seems small but to me its really important; I want to be able to be insightful, poetic, encouraging to a crowd or an individual when I speak.
I know I’ve been gifted to edify a few, but I often wonder if it translates to the masses. Only time will tell, if I ever get more chances like you have offered me this day.
Thank you Rob, by the way. It’s an honor to be interviewed.
You’re most welcome. Thinking of Monster Force Zero; if you could choose, what would be your superpower?
If I could have one super power it’d be that if my favorite superhero Jesus; that I might heal the pain of anyone I come in contact with.
Ultimately, superheroes use their power to save others or the world, but they have to battle or fight evil for that peace. I’d like to just give that peace without the struggle or the fight.
You have quite a range, as many as three roles in a single film, is there anything you’d still like to try?
Thank you for noticing. I really do try and I really do aim to please, not only the director of the film, but the viewers as well.
I still can’t believe I’ve had such a career without ever leaving Denver, Colorado.
I know this might not fly in this day and age of cultural appropriation, and offense over white people playing people of color, men playing women, or an actor playing someone who is mentally or physically challenged. It makes roles like Arnie Grape (Leonardo DiCaprio), Christy Brown (Daniel day Lewis), Albert Goldman (Nathan Lane), Julie Newmar (Patrick Swayze), and Srgt Lincoln Osiris played by Kirk Lazarus played by Robert Downey Jr.
Not only taboo or offensive to certain folks, but quite alluring to an actor who has performed as many roles as I have.
So in short, I love becoming all the people I am not, for the purpose of further understanding my fellow human in their plight or circumstance. I really do adore human beings.
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Former teacher, lecturer, homelessness administrator, pharmacy dispenser now happily retired, happily married, and a very happy granddad. I live next to the Mersey but on the side Daniel Craig and Taron Egerton come from rather than the side the Beatles came from!